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Senator James Lankford (R-OK) speaks to media during a Senate vote, at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Senate announces plan for Ukraine-Border deal – Trump calls it “meaningless”

A bipartisan group of US Senators released an outline of a deal Sunday that would send billions to Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza and beef up US border security after months of wrangling. Too bad House Speaker Mike Johnson called it “dead on arrival.”

Show me the money. Overall, the price tag will cross $118 billion, including ~$60 billion for Ukraine, ~$20 billion for border security, ~$14 billion in security aid to Israel, and ~$10 billion for humanitarian aid in Gaza. The bill also creates new pathways to legal migration and raises the standards of evidence a migrant faces persecution at home needed to claim asylum. Folks who meet the new standards will be able to work and live in the US pending a hearing, and especially compelling cases may even be granted asylum on the spot by an immigration officer.

Will it see the light of day? With former President Donald Trump actively campaigning against the bill, smart money says “no.” He’d like to keep the immigration issue in the headlines to hammer President Joe Biden with – and the situation underscores the dynamics within the Republican Party, where a candidate who holds no office is influencing legislative priorities.

The fact is, Johnson stands to lose his job – just like his predecessor did – if he crosses Trump on this, so his diagnosis may prove prescient.

What Democrats and Republicans have in common this Thanksgiving
What Democrats and Republicans have in common this Thanksgiving | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

What Democrats and Republicans have in common this Thanksgiving

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC, shares his perspective on US politics.

What are three things that lawmakers have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Well, the first is that they get to go home. Lawmakers reached a short-term deal to fund the government until January 19th, which means that they won't be around Washington, DC, beating each other up over levels of funding. That can all wait until 2024. They can go home and enjoy the holidays with their families and not pass much other legislation this year.

The second is that so far, the Inflation Reduction Act seems to be working to spur manufacturing in the United States. There are 22 new battery plants currently under construction. There's record investment in electronics manufacturing, and a number of European companies have announced their intention to expand green energy projects in the United States and not because of these subsidies. Now, of course, the real question about the success of the program is going to come when the subsidies stop, and you can judge how well the US has done in spurring this manufacturing in the US. But for now, Democrats are happy because it looks like the IRA is working. Republicans like the jobs, even though they didn't vote for the bill.

The third thing that both parties have to be grateful for is that there are no competitive primaries, which means that there's no choosing sides. There's no traipsing through the snowy fields of Iowa to campaign for one guy or another. Donald Trump is almost certain to win the Republican nomination, and Joe Biden faces no real challengers. So, both parties can marshal all their resources for the general election in 2024. And neither party is likely to go through a particularly divisive primary in the first half of the year.

U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who announced she will not be seeking re-election, leaves the Senate floor after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2023.

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein dies at 90

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein passed away at age 90 late on Thursday, family members confirmed Friday. She was the oldest sitting US senator and a titan of politics in the state boasting the country’s largest economy.

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US government shutdown: No end in sight
US government shutdown: No end in sight | US Politics In: 60 | GZERO Media

US government shutdown: No end in sight

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics:

How long will a US government shutdown last?

I'm here in Miami, Florida, which feels very far away from the drama happening in Washington, DC this week, where the House and Senate are unlikely to agree on a new government funding bill in time to stop a government shutdown from happening on Saturday night.

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US Dems and GOP can be thankful this Thanksgiving
Dems & GOP Both Thankful for Midterm Surprises | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

US Dems and GOP can be thankful this Thanksgiving

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics in a Thanksgiving edition.


What are Republicans and Democrats thankful for this holiday season?

Democrats are thankful for three Republicans named Mehmet Oz, Don Bolduc and Blake Masters, who lost three winnable Senate seats in Arizona, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, allowing Democrats to keep their majority. Democrats keep the majority; it means they can continue to confirm judges and confirm any executive branch nominees that President Biden puts forward should there be any openings. These were clearly winnable seats for the Republicans in this cycle that should have strongly favored them, but we saw Trump aligned nominees like these three give up winnable seats.

Republicans are thankful that there are alternatives emerging to President Donald Trump in the Republican primary in 2024. President Trump has declared his intention to run. However, three Republican governors, Brian Kemp, Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott had very strong showings in their reelection cycles this year and that's going to embolden challengers to Trump in the primary, and this could be a very competitive primary, giving them some alternatives to Trump, given that there's a growing number of Republicans who think he can't win a general election. Now, of course, the challenge will be, can these guys win if Trump decides that he's not going to support them should he lose the primary? But that's a question for another day.

Now, Republicans and Democrats are thankful that they're not going to be spending their holiday seasons relitigating false claims of election fraud the way they did in 2020. President Trump in 2020 claimed that the election was rigged and stolen from him. He refused to concede, and that really dominated the news cycle from Thanksgiving all the way through the January six riots, which were a terrible day for most lawmakers that were present. That's not going to happen this cycle. No one's really questioning the results of these elections. There were some questions about some voting machines malfunctioning in Arizona, but for the most part, this is a pretty clean election, and everyone understands that the legitimate ballots that were cast led to a legitimate outcome, a good day for American democracy. It's something that we should all be thankful for.

"Red wave" coming in US midterms
"Red Wave" Coming in US Midterms | Quick Take | GZERO Media

"Red wave" coming in US midterms

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. A Quick take to get you started on your week, and of course, we are looking forward, if that's the right term, to tomorrow's midterm elections in the United States. Increasingly a time of political dysfunction and tension and polarization and conflict, and tomorrow will certainly be no different.

First of all, in terms of outcomes, almost always in the United States, the party that is not in power, that doesn't occupy the presidency, picks up seats in the midterms. Tomorrow should be no different. Biden's approval ratings are not incredibly poor, but certainly low. View of the economy, which is the top indicator that most people say they are voting on, is quite negative, and expectations are negative going forward, even though the US isn't quite in a recession.

That means that the Republicans will easily win the House. I don't think that there's any need to question predictions around that front. It's more whether it's 15 seats or whether it's 30 seats, how much of a wave it actually looks like. Some believe that it's easier to govern if there's a 30-seat swing, because that will mean that the Republicans will be less beholden to relatively extreme members of their caucus.

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Lessons from US midterm primaries in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama
Turnout in Georgia Broke Records for Midterm Primaries | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Lessons from US midterm primaries in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses Tuesday's primaries.

What happened in Tuesday's primaries?

Several states held primary elections on Tuesday of this week with the most interesting elections in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama. In Georgia, two incumbent Republicans who were instrumental in certifying the results of President Joe Biden's victory in 2020 won the nomination for governor and secretary of state against two Trump-backed opponents. The sitting governor who Trump had been targeting for months over his role in the 2020 election won by over 50 points, a sign that while Republican voters still love Donald Trump, his hold over the party is not absolute. This is going to create an opening for challengers in the 2024 presidential election cycle.

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Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed, but GOP will dominate SCOTUS for years
Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed, But GOP Dominates SCOTUS | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed, but GOP will dominate SCOTUS for years

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses the Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Today's question, what does the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson mean for the US?

She'll be the first black woman ever to serve on the highest court. What's the political significance of this? Not much. After Republicans took at 6-3 advantage on the court during the Trump administration, the conservatives now have what looks like a durable majority that will dominate the court for years to come. Brown Jackson's vote is unlikely to be decisive in many cases, which frequently split along partisan lines with the six conservative justices aligning in a block against the three liberal justices on issues like separation of powers, the scope of the federal government, and voting rights.

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